We had a 2006 Chrysler Town & Country van.On May 25th 2011, while my wife was driving she detected an odor she described as "burnt caramel".
Within half a mile the vehicle started shuddering and the engine light came on. She pulled over to the side of the road and noticed smoke coming from the left side of the hood. When I arrived on the scene the fire department had the fire out. The car was towed to the local dealership.
On Friday May 27th, we heard from the USAA insurance adjuster saying that they were totaling the vehicle. I filed a complaint with Chrysler (case # 20900463). On June 1st, I received a call from Terry Dunham, a Chrysler Investigator, wanting to inspect the vehicle. I called USAA and found out that it had been towed to Copart Auto Salvage in Orlando, FL.
I relayed the information to Mr. Dunham. I never heard from him, so I called Chrysler on Saturday June 4th, and was told that a case manager would call us on Monday No one called, so I called them on Tuesday and was told that the claim was denied and that the case was closed and that we had been mailed a letter. We received the letter on, Friday June 10th, stating that the investigator had found "no indication that a manufacturing defect caused or contributed to the incident".
The vehicle had approximately 46,000 miles on it at the time of the fire. The only non routine maintenance done to the vehicle was replacing the battery in March 2009 and having the front brakes done in August 2009. The vehicles manufacturer's warranty had expired, but it was under an extended warranty that Chrysler's dealership (Advantage Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep) had sold us. I believe that companies name is Fidelity and the contract number 46530460 (who also declined any responsibility).
The last I knew, vehicles do not spontaneously combust without some kind of failure.We have since purchased a vehicle with the settlement money from USAA but it is an older vehicle that does not have the equipment and options we had on the Town and Country.
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